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Shasown 27-03-2010 11:35 PM

Paedophiles get community service
Great British Justice?


Online paedophiles are being handed short jail terms or even community service and not being rehabilitated, a report found.

The study raised serious concerns about the sentences given to offenders caught with horrific child sex abuse images.

It warned "high risk" offenders were not being locked up for long enough to take part in treatment.

The maximum penalty for possession of child sex abuse at the Crown Court is ten years in prison. But the probation officers' union Napo uncovered sentences of jail terms of less than a year, or community punishment.

More worringly, paedophiles were not being made to join sex offender treatment programmes, despite recommendations from probation officers, the report said. Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of Napo said: "In Napo's view it is inappropriate that either no treatment, or sentences too short for treatment, are handed out by the courts.

"There is evidence that treatment in prison, followed by relapse follow up on licence in the community, is effective and reduces reoffending. These are not victimless crimes. There is an urgent need to review sentencing practice and law to ensure that risk to children is minimised."

He also warned proposed cuts to probation funding would mean fewer paedophiles going into treatment and a greater risk to vulnerable children. The dossier contains evidence of 68 cases from 20 probation areas across England and Wales. In one reported case, an unnamed offender was caught with more than 24,000 indecent images including those at level five, the most serious forms of abuse.

Despite being deemed high risk to children, he was given a 12 month jail term and calls for an intensive treatment programme were not followed. In another a man was caught with 21,000 images, including very serious abuse, and was given an 18 month term with no treatment attached.

Sex offender treatment programmes are available in 26 out of the 140 jails in England and Wales. There are more than 7,500 sex offenders behind bars. A Prison Service spokesman said around 2,400 paedophiles were treated on its Sex Offender Treatment Programme last year. He said: "Sentencing in individual cases is entirely a matter for the courts. Sex offender treatment programmes are delivered in prison and the community."

eye sea 28-03-2010 06:51 PM

There's no such thing as real British justice. Only for those who do wrong.

Zippy 28-03-2010 07:45 PM

Depends on what the crime is. Looking at pictures is not the same as actually physically abusing somebody. Or attempting to.

And all this stuff about treatment is just BS. You can't treat a sexual attraction to children anymore than you can treat any other sexual attraction. It will always be there within them. The best you can do is control their actions.

If somebody is known to be an active predator of children they should be locked up for life because they will always be a danger.

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